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Gibson ceases development of Cakewalk/Sonar

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Stunning news. I feel badly for all the Cakewalk employees. I don't know if Gibson could have avoided it, with Cakewalk forever being under the unshakeable burden of being considered by many an "also-ran", especially in today's option-rich environment.

Somebody might buy the code and try with a different GUI or something. That is a lot of optimized code to simply be thrown into the dustbin.

Terry

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Being an ex Cakewalk customer and Sonar Platinum lifetime user and Sonar user of many years, I can tell you it's been a real wrench for a lot of Sonar users, not to mention the Cakewalk staff. There hasn't been much official info about it - just the statement. Cakewalk customers haven't even been officially informed - just a post in the forum. No email or anything. So presumably there are still many people working with Sonar every day blissfully unaware of all this!

Some information has leaked out. An ex Cakewalk employee held an ask me anything session on reddit  a couple of weeks ago which was quite interesting. It seems as though Gibbon became too involved, interfered with something they didn't understand and pressed all the wrong buttons. The management (gibbons) they put into Cakewalk were clueless and just upset everyone. All the support staff left because of the way they were treated.

The owner/developer of Overture (scoring software), Don Williams sent a message to the Cakewalk forums offering his condolences and dropped a special deal off for us. He went on to say that he had been working with Cakewalk on a way to integrate Coverture's scoring into Sonar to replace the old, buggy score editor it had. When they approached Gibbon to get the go-ahead they were told no, on the grounds that Gibbon would have too much financial liability. They had more talks and Don Williams came up with a deal to limit Gibbon's liability. Gibbon turned that down. In the end, he felt so bad for Cakewalk he offered to provide a light version for free with an upgrade path for Soner users. Gibbon said no to that as well.

Long story short: Gibbon is a useless company with a madman for a CEO and $500,000,000 worth of debt that their creditors want paid in full by August. They are likely dead, but through their incompetence, they have killed off other companies including Cakewalk and clearly don't have any concern for their customers or their staff - they sent a couple of top Gibbons to the Cakewalk offices and just told everyone to pack up their stuff, the show's over.

Sonar users looking at other DAWs have been very aware of an added criterion that needs to be met when considering a replacement... How stable is the parent company? Steinberg is owned by Yamaha so seems ok. Studio One is Presonus and S1 fits well with their hardware business so seems safe. Samplitude is owned by Magix, a very successful software company that has remained independent, recently acquired Sony's pro audio/visual software and have apparently, recently taken on extra developers. I think I have made a good choice. I hope so and I am loving Samplitude!

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Now we will see Gibson take down Philips - developer of the Compact Cassette, the CD and DVD (with Sony), and an amazingly innovative company, sadly now in bed with this awful bunch of corporate losers. 

https://www.philips.com/a-w/about/company/our-heritage.html

What a shambles.

Terry

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On 12/23/2017 at 6:54 PM, 35mm said:

I don't think Gibson owns Philips. I think they just bought a section of their consumer audio division.

Well, that is a relief to hear. I hope they cannot do much harm to Philips.

Terry

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Terry, from what I have read, Philips shed some crap that was dragging them down and Gibson sucked in the bait and bought it. They now see it as their only hope of getting them out of their death spiral. LOL RIP Gibbons!

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Guest Daniel
On 11/21/2017 at 2:50 PM, Kraznet said:

For all those who switched from Sonar to Samplitude you made the right decision. Looks like Gibson are up to their old tricks again. They trashed Opcode Vision back in the day and now they've done the same with Sonar.

http://www.cakewalk.com/Gibson-Announcement

GibsonSonar.jpg

 

Regards, Kraznet

Please sign the petition against Gibson closing SONAR Cakewalk.

https://www.change.org/p/gibson-guitars-gibson-guitars-owes-it-s-consumers-for-discontinuing-sonar-cakewalk-without-warning?recruiter=52693204&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

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11 minutes ago, Guest Daniel said:

maybe 2 groups are already gathering to plot a buy out offer ;)

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3 hours ago, Guest Daniel said:

Dan, while I am no fan of Gibson and even less of one after this Sonar kill off, they have done what businesses do every day and they don't owe us anything. The lifetime updates were not for your lifetime but for the lifetime of the product. We did get updates for the lifetime of the product. It's just that its lifetime wasn't as long as we hoped for. Those who paid monthly and didn't complete their year of payments have had their payments canceled and Sonar fully unlocked to them. There are no grounds for a refund. Unfortunately, everything Gibson has done is completely legitimate in the business world.

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Sad to say, the lifetime updates will make it next to impossible for them to sell it. It's also very likely that they had been trying to sell it for some time.

I've known a number of people who were successful audio developers and none of them made very much money other than a handful when they sold out to large corporations twenty years ago.

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Bob, actually I have this weird suspicion that it has already been sold. Not the Cakewalk brand, but the Sonar source code - to Microsoft. This strange hypothesis is based on the fact that Microsoft are ramping up their efforts to take on the Apple market. The creator's update was the start. It turns out MS are now developing a DAW that will be for Windows what Logic is for Mac. Recently Cakewalk and MS were working very closely together in the development of the Surface and on other stuff right up until the closure announcement. Reading between the lines, MS's DAW will be intended to push the DAW technology forward rather than just release yet another DAW, so this one sounds very ambitious. In an ad for DSP developers, they used the phrase "multidimensional audio production". It seems to me that MS's best plan would be to buy the code for an existing, established and proven DAW and build upon it. The best fit would obviously be a Windows only DAW - the porting of Sonar over to Mac was suddenly halted just before Cakewalk was closed. With Gibson being in such a financial pickle MS could have approached them with a tempting offer to shut down Cakewalk and sell MS the intellectual property for a good price. This would give MS a springboard on which to develop an advanced DAW with a bundle of VSTi's and VSTs to package with it saving them a lot of time and expense. It is anticipated that a light version will be bundled with Windows kind of Garage Band style. It will no longer be Sonar so there will be no ties to the lifetime updates, but all existing Sonar customers are already MS Windows customers so no custom is lost. 

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If there's any kind of sale to MS, it won't be SONAR per se. MS has no motivation to provide all of the legacy support that would be expected and required.

I think it's more likely that they'd sell components of their IP that MS would find useful developing their own DAW, like the code for the MS spinner thingy. The audio engine itself. That kind of stuff. No way they'd just rebrand SONAR. I've partnered with them on two large, shared IP projects back when I had to work for a living. That's not how they do business. Whatever they do take, if anything, count on them leaving the UI behind.

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The only part of the media creation market that's growing is video and it's growing like the audio market was twenty-five years ago.

Cakewalk was willing to embrace Microsoft's new technology ahead of others but I can't picture Microsoft having the slightest interest in any DAW. Apple acquired E-Magic and whatever Macromedia called Final Cut back when it looked like both Adobe and Avid were about to bail rather than embrace system NeXt.

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I think Sonar might live on in some capacity. Creditors will accept any price above zero, so I wouldn't be surprised if somebody purchases it.  Perhaps  they won't  do much with it, apart from keeping the authorization servers going, and fixing whatever existing bugs manifest in the program.  Third-party licensing might be messy..

 Perhaps an existing DAW will buy it and add the Sonar plugins to their other software lines.  

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